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Slice of Selfie

3 min read

A response to a KQED Teach Lesson:

  • Using your phone or digital camera, take 5-7 different selfies.
  • Remember to utilize a variety of angles and lighting in for each of your selfies-- they can be equally important as your facial expressions in telling your story!
  • When you have finished taking your selfies, put them all together using the Pixlr editor.
  • Finally, share your selfie story with us on the KQED Teach community.

  • What was it like constructing media about yourself?
  • How does the various images relate to who you really are?
  • How does the concept of all media being constructed influence your thinking about your learning environment?
  • What are you still wondering?

This assignment, first of all, breaks most of the assignment rules. First, I found six selfies instead of taking them, I used Photoshop instead of Pixlr, and, to be honest, I think one isn't even a selfie. But let's play along like it's the work that matters, not the ability to stick to a rubric for just a second. :-)

But nevertheless here's six "selfies" merged together to give the illusion of one nice selfie. I purposely tried to find six "selfies" with varying aesthetics: hats, beard lengths, sunglasses, hairstyles (even more with a fancy headset!) Here's what I'm thinking about:

  • When it's six "selfies" instead of one, it's a lot easier to confront your own appearance. You focus less on specific features and care less about how the picture could be better. It's vein, but it is what it is.
  • Really digging the low light picture that I was able to find. I remember taking this on a plane because 1. I was bored and had no internet connection and 2. I appreciated how the window light only caught a portion of my face. I purposely placed the picture in Slot 4 to contrast the image with the portion of the image that was specifically light (also the picture with the most beard!)
  • Angle seems like an important attribute to bring up here. According to selfie listicles, angles are a big deal. They even occasionally cite Farhod Karimov as a researcher who says angles matter (but Google Scholar says he only researches trustworthiness in e-commerce but whatdoiknowyaknow)
  • It's helpful to remember that media is inevitably a constructive narrative. It's not neutral no matter how much journalists want to believe they can be neutral in the same way tech companies want to believe technology can be neutral. All is, to some extent, constructed either physically or mentally and that requires a human to decide the affordances of that construction.
  • I'm stilll wondering how to use Pixlr to import multiple images into one workspace. It's amazing how quickly I ran away from the tool I didn't know simply becaues I knew exactly how to do it somewhere else. Really. I didn't even bother to research how to do it because I felt more comfortable just bending the rules (see the top). I like the idea of a free online editor though so I plan to circle back and look into Pixlr a little further.

Cross posted on the KQED Teach site.